Join the Conversation — Advocating for Quality Care

by Ken Clarke and Lois Brummet, RN, MSN, CHPCN(c), DVHS Hospice Volunteer

For the past few years I have had the privilege in my role with DVHS of lending my voice to advocate for excellence in the delivery of hospice palliative care and end-of-life services right here in our communities in the South Okanagan.  I have sought to recognize and celebrate the health services and level of care we do receive in our province and to express appreciation for those who serve on the front lines—our first responders and medical staff; it’s not perfect but we are blessed to have the services available to us.  At the same time, I have also said, ‘we need to do better’, especially when it comes to helping those on the palliative journey, in providing beds and services and an environment which allows patients and families to experience not only medical care and comfort but to do so in the best possible setting. 
These are conversations we need to continue to share.  My friend Lois Brummet speaks to this as she shares some thoughts below; thoughts that invite us to join the conversation and in so doing to continue to advocate for the best care possible and be part of the solution.
From the Penticton Herald Letters to the Editor May 16, 2017
“…having Moog and Friends Hospice House in our own back yard is truly a blessing as this allowed us to spend quality time with our parents rather than having to travel long distances to see them.”
This family’s sentiments are an example of why people in Oliver and Osoyoos ask “Why are the beds in the Supportive Care Centre (Osoyoos) not being used for a Hospice House?”

Does anyone really know the answer? We have been told that additional “spaces” would be added for palliative services. We have been told that the long term/complex care facilities would be providing much needed and required palliative services.  Is there any evidence of this occurring other than the platitudes offered by administrators and politicians? With the rapid building going on in both communities and the population average age higher than in most communities, what is holding up the parade?  (It’s a fair question.)
The efforts of the Desert Valley Hospice Society providing services and support programs, given freely by trained hospice palliative care volunteers, need to be recognised and supported locally and provincially. Remember the squeaky wheel? Let’s turn that grind into sweet, calming chimes for people with life-threatening, life-limiting health concerns and their loved ones.
To the readers of this blog, I am interested in your thoughts, your ideas and your knowledge of progress being made to bring additional hospice beds and services to our communities. Some of us are aging quickly and losing patience with the “5 year plans.”
On a brighter side, we know that spring is coming; it is just held up in a traffic jam.
Keep well and live well until your end.

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